CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/949,083, filed on Jul. 11, 2007. The disclosure of the above application is incorporated herein by reference.
This disclosure relates generally to cable guides, and more particularly, to a one-piece cable guide used to slidably capture cables, ropes and the like against a surface.
In some applications it may be desirable to locate or fix a cable to an object such as a flat surface. Various locating apparatus such as mounts, pulleys, hooks etc., are available that can provide a user the ability to at least partially fix a cable to a given location. In some instances it may be desirable to allow the cable to slidably communicate along the locating apparatus.
A guide adapted to retain a flexible member can include a body defining an arcuate intermediate portion extending between a first end and a second end. The arcuate intermediate portion can define a generally u-shaped cross-section. The intermediate portion can define a throat adapted to slidably capture the flexible member. A mounting aperture can be defined through the first end. At least one finger can be formed on the body. The finger can extend toward the throat and is adapted to retain the flexible member within the throat.
According to additional features, the first and second ends can be generally planar. The at least one finger can include a first finger extending from the first end and a second finger extending from the second end. The fingers and the body can be monolithic such that the fingers are pliable relative to the body.
According to other features, the arcuate intermediate portion of the body can define a first and second arched wall portions and a transverse support wall extending between the arched wall portions. A tab can be formed on the body of the cable guide that extends generally into the mounting aperture.
A method for securing a portion of a flexible member in a slidable relationship with a mounting surface can include, locating an intermediate portion of the flexible member. A guide can be advanced over the intermediate portion of the flexible member wherein an arcuate intermediate portion of the guide can locate partially around the flexible member. The guide can be further advanced until planar surfaces defined at opposite ends of the arcuate intermediate portion locate against the mounting surface. A fastener can be advanced through a mounting aperture defined in the guide.
According to additional features, advancing the guide can further comprise, introducing the flexible member within a boundary partially defined by the arcuate intermediate portion. At least one of a pair of fingers formed at the planar surfaces can deflect to accommodate introduction of the flexible member into the arcuate intermediate portion of the guide.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
Further areas of applicability of the present disclosure will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and various examples, while indicating various embodiments of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the following claims.
The skilled artisan will understand that the drawings, described below, are for illustration purposes only. The drawings are not intended to limit the scope of the present teachings in any way.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cable guide according to the present teachings;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the cable guide of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the cable guide of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is top view of the cable guide of FIG. 1; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the cable guide secured to an exemplary mounting surface with a fastener and having a cable extending through a securing portion in a secured position.
Aspects of the present teachings may be further understood in light of the following examples, which should not be construed as limiting the scope of the present teachings in any way.
Turning now to the drawings, and initially to FIG. 1, a cable guide is shown and generally identified at reference 10. The cable guide 10 generally includes a body 12 defining an intermediate portion 14 extending between a first end 16 and a second end 18. The arcuate intermediate portion 14 can define a throat 20 for receiving a flexible member 25 (FIG. 5). The arcuate intermediate portion 14 can generally define a first arched wall 26 and a second arched wall 28 that connect through a generally parabolic central portion 30. The first arched wall 26, the second arched wall 28, and the generally parabolic central portion 30 collectively define a u-shaped cross-section of the cable guide 10. A transverse wall 32 can extend between the first and second arched walls 26 and 28, respectively. A mounting aperture 34 can be defined through a raised boss 36 formed on the first end 16. The mounting aperture 34 can receive a fastener 38 (FIG. 5) in a mounted position as will be described. A pair of fingers 40 can be formed on the body 12 at the first and second ends 16 and 18.
Turning now to FIG. 2, the first and second ends 16 and 18 can terminate at generally planar end surfaces 42 and 44, respectively. The transverse wall 32 can be generally perpendicular to the planar end surfaces 42 and 44. In one example, the fingers 40 can extend along the respective planar end surfaces 42 and 44 in a direction toward the throat 20. The fingers 40 at the first and second ends 16 and 18 can facilitate retention of the flexible member 25 (such as a cable, etc.) within the throat 20 if the cable guide 10 deflects or the fastener 38 is not completely tightened. The fingers 40 can be bendable or pliable relative to the body 12. In one example, the fingers 40 may slightly temporarily deflect to accommodate introduction of the flexible member 25 into the throat 20.
With reference to FIG. 3, the cable guide 10 can define tabs 50 extending generally into the mounting aperture 34. The tabs 50 can assist in holding the fastener 38 (FIG. 5) in place (i.e. relative to the body 12 in the mounting aperture 34) while mounting the cable guide 10 to a surface.
Exemplary dimensions will now be described. The cable guide 10 can define a length L, a height H and a width W. In one example, the length L can be 1.56 inches, the height H can be 0.84 inch and the width W can be 1.12 inches. It is appreciated that these dimensions are merely exemplary and may vary according to application.
The cable guide 10 can be a unitary component (i.e. monolithic) that can be formed of lightweight, low-friction, and wear-resistant material. In one example, the cable guide 10 can be formed of injection molded plastic such as acetal resin engineering plastic. One exemplary material includes DelrinŽ manufactured by DuPont.
With reference to FIG. 5, the cable guide 10 is shown mounted to a mounting surface 52 with a flexible member 25 captured within the throat 20. The smooth surface of the arcuate intermediate portion 14 of the cable guide 10 allows the use of cables that would normally fray if wrapped around objects with a smaller contact radius. The large radius contact surface can facilitate cable movement through the throat 20 (and discourage snagging) at any angle less than 90 degrees relative to the mounting surface 52 while holding the flexible member 25 close to the mounting surface 52.
One advantage of the cable guide 10 is that it can be installed over a cable. Explained differently, a cable end need not be threaded through the throat 20 as is required for other devices such as anchors (i.e., pulleys, etc.). In one exemplary method, the cable guide can be located adjacent to a cable with the throat 20 generally aligned toward the cable. The planar end surfaces 42 and 44 can then be advanced toward the mounting surface 52 such that the cable 25 locates through (between) the respective fingers 40. The fastener 38 can then be driven through the mounting aperture 34 to secure the cable guide 10 to the mounting surface 52.
While this disclosure has been described in connection with particular examples thereof, the true scope of the disclosure should not be so limited. Furthermore, other modifications will become apparent to the skilled practitioner upon a study of the drawings, the specification and the following claims.